Dear Collingswood & Oaklyn Community, 

Earlier this month, we reached out to share information regarding Collingswood receiving reductions in state aid and flat funding for the last 3 years, and significant reductions in state aid to Oaklyn despite the State’s announcement to significantly increase overall educational funding. In addition to the rising costs of educational services for students. We were equally surprised by these unexpected financial cuts amid the lurking fiscal cliff due to the expiration of COVID-era federal funding this September. 

We were extremely disappointed to receive this news and reached out to the New Jersey Department of Education as we are unclear of the reason for the State’s decision. We will continue to advocate for our school communities as we plan for the new school year. 

We’d like to publicly thank our Board Members in Collingswood and Oaklyn for their partnership, advocacy, and public hearing testimony. In addition, we’d like to thank District 6 State Senator James Beach, Assemblyman Louis Greenwald, Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt, and District 5 State Senator Nilsa Cruz Perez, Assemblyman William Spearman, and Assemblyman William Moen for listening to school districts affected and also advocating on our behalf at the State level.  

Over the coming weeks and months, we will explore additional actions to appeal continued decreases in funding, as well as the challenges associated with the State’s flawed school funding formula. We are coordinating advocacy efforts with surrounding districts that are similarly affected and our State legislature. However, we must accept that our current situation is difficult and it will require us to make tough financial decisions in the weeks ahead. As we review school and department requests, we will continue to prioritize student needs and staff retention. 

Although we are submitting preliminary budgets this month to the Camden County Office of Education, it will take time until we have a firm grasp of what the actual impact will be. Over the next month, we will work with our school leaders, association leaders, and community partners to finalize a budget that honors the values of our communities. We understand that this is not the news we were hoping for, but our school communities are resilient and we’ll get through this together. 

In the interim, we are calling on our communities to write letters to our local and state representatives to advocate on our behalf for an equitable school funding formula that prioritizes and values the needs of all students in New Jersey. 

Making Your Voice Heard: The Public’s Role (Click Here)

NJ Legislator Contact Information (Click Here)

Sample Letter to Send to Representatives: (Click Here)


Fred McDowell, Ed.D. 

Superintendent of Schools